Originally a pastoral area, the discovery of gold in 1851 saw the town boom, however things ultimately declined as the gold ran out, and cattle and sheep grazing took over as the town's major industry. Remnants of the town's gold-mining history can be found at the Oriental Claims Historic Area, located a few kilometres west of Omeo.
Fishing is a popular activity in the many creeks and waterways in the area, while there are many picturesque small communities and scenic lookouts on a number of the roads around Omeo.
The town centre of Omeo is situated on the slope of a hill along Day Avenue, offering scenic views over the many historical buildings in town. The A.M. Pearson Historical Park features the town's court house and the original police log lock-up. An extensive recreation park stretches from the commercial centre at Day Avenue right down to Livingstone Creek and features walking tracks, a rotunda, a pump track for bike riders and a swimming area in a wide section of the creek. Omeo's regional information centre is located at the German Cuckoo Clock Shop which displays a wide range of hand-crafted cuckoo clocks.
The alpine resorts of Dinner Plain and Mount Hotham are located less than an hour drive west of Omeo, and are popular with visitors all year round.